How can I reuse or recycle teddy bears and other soft toys?

teddy_bear1We’ve had an email from Gillian, asking:

how can i recycle my children’s old teddy bears? i don’t have the heart to chuck them in the land fill. any suggestions?

As a previous owner of a large collection of stuffed toy cats, dogs, bunnies and seals, I can understand the reluctance to throw them away.

If they’re in good condition, I’d be tempted to bung them through the wash then give them away to a charity shop or a refuge for another child to enjoy – but they might not be accepted for re-sale/re-distribution if they’ve been loved a little too much in the past.

How about stripping them down for parts instead? Eyes, stuffing and bits of interesting fabric/fur are always welcome additions to a craft collection – but it might feel a little bit like an autopsy ;)

Any other suggestions?

(Photo by lusi)

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6 Responses to “How can I reuse or recycle teddy bears and other soft toys?”

  1. Zoe and Ashleigh says:

    We like to recycle lots of things,
    icluding teddys and barbies!

  2. Delusion says:

    Hospitals often taken old teddies for children who are having to stay over.

    How about “patching” them up with scraps of fabric, giving them new eyes and donating them.

    A number of my stuffed toys have been “adopted” by our two cats, for sleeping next to. :)

  3. Roberto says:

    In my house, older stuffed animal equals dog toy. Just watch for small hard parts that might be swallowed. A kennel may want some too.

  4. stephanie says:

    you can take the stuffing out and turn it into a puppet.

  5. louisa says:

    My friend Dathan told me yesterday that he used to use soft toys – old Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles to be exact – in his bass drum.

    Drummers often use pillows to dampened the sound but a drum full of cuddly toys sounds more fun and green :)